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Published: Monday, 4/28/2008

Businessman wants more signs to Rossford on I-75

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Motorists driving north on I-75 pass the Route 795 exit to Rossford before reaching the first sign pointing the way to the city. This sign on the Route 795 overpass identifies the Buck Road, Wales Road, and Miami exits leading to Rossford. A businessman wants the state to add more signs on I-75 leading to Rossford. Motorists driving north on I-75 pass the Route 795 exit to Rossford before reaching the first sign pointing the way to the city. This sign on the Route 795 overpass identifies the Buck Road, Wales Road, and Miami exits leading to Rossford. A businessman wants the state to add more signs on I-75 leading to Rossford.
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Do you know the way to Rossford?

The answer may depend on which part of Rossford you're looking for.

John Rust, co-owner of a car wash in Rossford, believes there aren't enough signs on I-75 directing motorists to his city, especially the rapidly developing southern portion Rossford has annexed from Perrysburg Township during the past 14 years.

He will petition the Ohio Department of Transportation shortly to add signs identifying the interchanges at State Rt. 795 and at U.S. 20/23 as leading to Rossford, along with three farther north that are, to varying degrees, so marked.

"If you're coming from the south and want to go to Bass Pro, you certainly don't want to go all the way to Miami Street," Mr. Rust said.

A motorist on northbound

I-75 would have passed the Route 795 exit before reaching the first sign identifying Rossford. The sign is on the Route 795 overpass and identifies the Buck Road, Wales Road, and Miami exits leading to Rossford.

On the freeway's southbound side, the only Rossford reference is at the Miami interchange.

At the Toledo-Rossford bor-der, Miami becomes Superior Street, the main thoroughfare in Rossford's traditional business district.

Wales leads into a residential area southeast of the business district, while Buck touches what was the city's southern edge before it began expanding into the Crossroads of America district near and south of I-75's junction with Route 795 and the Ohio Turnpike.

For about a mile south of the Buck interchange, Rossford is barely wider than the freeway itself: A narrow strip including I-75 connects the original city limits with the new section that starts sprawling east of the freeway south of the Mandell Road overpass.

City Administrator Edward Ciecka likened Rossford's shape to a barbell.

He said he supports the idea of more I-75 signs identifying it even if some of the exits don't lead to the city center.

"It's a developing, major commercial area, and it's a matter of community pride for it to be identified as part of Rossford," Mr. Ciecka said.

"It's a very unique shape," Theresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman in Bowling Green, said of Rossford's city limits.

Until state officials receive Mr. Rust's petition, she said, the department can't comment specifically on it.

But any change to the signs would have to be researched to ensure that no confusion is created, she said, and in that regard, the border of Rossford's central business district "would have to be considered."

I-75's current signage predates Rossford's geographic growth, so it's hardly an oversight that the city isn't mentioned at Routes 795 or 20/23.

But Mr. Ciecka said it would make particular sense to replace the Route 795 signs' mention of Millbury - nine miles to the east and beyond I-280 - with Rossford.

He and Mr. Rust said that signs similar to the one now posted northbound at Route 795 listing the three exits for "old" Rossford should be erected identifying all five exits that reach one part or another of the city - either listing them or at least stating, "Rossford: Next 5 Exits."

Along with asking for more signs, Mr. Rust said he would like signs posted at the exit ramps' ends with arrows pointing toward whatever portion of Rossford is closest to each interchange.

Larry Whitely, a spokesman for Bass Pro, said the store does not plan to rely on potential customers' knowledge of Rossford's quirky geography.

Advertising will include references to nearby highways and exit numbers, he said.

"On our sale [flyers], there's usually a map," Mr. Whitely said.

Contact David Patch at:

dpatch@theblade.com

or 419-724-6094.



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